Prior to Microsoft's official confirmation of its Cortana digital assistant for Windows Phone 8.1 today, rumors swirled about who would voice it. Now it's been confirmed Jen Taylor, voice of Cortana's namesake in the Halo franchise, will lend her skills to the assistant.
Microsoft provided the following statement to Neowin regarding Taylor's voice being used in the digital assistant: "[The] Cortana beta synthesizes voices from more than one source, Jen Taylor being one of them. Over time, we plan to employ Jen Taylor’s voice throughout a greater portion of the experience."
Cortana's unveiling follows a public petition for Microsoft to keep the Cortana name, which was previously used for internal purposes, that garnered more than 83,000 votes. Similar petitions were made for Microsoft to contract Taylor as the assistant's voice, and a rumor surfaced in January that she would indeed lend her talents to the feature. Other aspects of the rumor, such as launching initially as a beta for U.S. users, were also confirmed by Microsoft.
In conjunction with today's BUILD 2014 developer conference, Microsoft has released the first promotional video of Cortana, seen above, at the end of which Taylor's voice can be heard.
Cortana is rumored to come to both Windows and Xbox One at some point in the future, meaning Taylor could potentially lend her voice to a game on Microsoft's console as well as the operating system itself. Microsoft has yet to confirm the digital assistant for other platforms, however.
Update: Taylor shared her excitement to be the digital assistant's voice with the following tweet:
Yup. It's me. Mixed in with some cool #Microsoft fanciness. We've got some recording to do!!— Jen Taylor (@jentaylortown) April 2, 2014